Gentoo Vs. Exherbo: Source-based Distros Duel

Gentoo vs Exherbo: A Duel of Source-based Linux Distributions


In the realm of Linux distributions, Gentoo and Exherbo stand out as trailblazers in the source-based distribution model. Both operating systems prioritize user control, flexibility, and customization, offering unparalleled levels of customization and performance tuning. However, despite their shared approach, they differ in several key aspects:


Installation and Configuration:


  • Gentoo: Gentoo’s renowned Stage 1 to Stage 3 installation process grants users complete control over every aspect of their system. However, this highly manual approach can be time-consuming and requires a deep understanding of Linux.
  • Exherbo: Exherbo’s installation is comparatively simpler, thanks to its pre-built binary Stage 1 installer. However, its Stage 3 customization involves modifying a single configuration file, limiting user control compared to Gentoo.

Package Management:

  • Gentoo: Gentoo’s Portage package manager is renowned for its flexibility and extensive repository of packages. Users have complete control over package versions, flags, and dependencies, enabling them to fine-tune their system’s functionality.
  • Exherbo: Exherbo employs a custom binary package manager named Paludis. Paludis prioritizes simplicity and speed, offering atomic updates and automatic dependency resolution. While less customizable than Portage, it simplifies package management for users.

System Updates:

  • Gentoo: Gentoo pushes out updates regularly, but it’s up to the user to install them. Users can control the frequency and scope of updates, allowing for tailored system maintenance schedules.
  • Exherbo: Exherbo follows a rolling release model, continuously delivering updates to keep the system up-to-date. This approach eliminates the need for major version upgrades but requires users to keep a close eye on package updates.

User Base and Support:

  • Gentoo: Gentoo boasts a large and active user community, offering extensive documentation, forums, and IRC channels. Its long history has fostered a wealth of knowledge and support resources.
  • Exherbo: Exherbo’s user base is relatively smaller, leading to limited documentation and community support. However, its dedicated developers provide excellent support through forums and bug trackers.

Which One to Choose?

Ultimately, the choice between Gentoo and Exherbo depends on individual preferences and technical expertise. Gentoo offers unparalleled customization and control, but it requires a significant time investment and technical aptitude. Exherbo provides a balance of simplicity and speed, appealing to users seeking a more streamlined experience with automated updates.


Gentoo and Exherbo stand as exceptional source-based Linux distributions, empowering users with unprecedented levels of customization and flexibility. Gentoo’s extensive configuration options and package management capabilities cater to experienced users, while Exherbo’s streamlined approach and rolling release model suit those prioritizing simplicity and speed. Ultimately, the choice between these two exceptional distros is a matter of finding the balance that best aligns with individual needs and preferences.

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Comments 8
  1. Gentoo is a great choice for users who want to have complete control over their system, and who are willing to put in the time to learn how to use it. Exherbo is a good choice for users who want a more user-friendly experience, and who are less interested in customization.

  2. I’v tried both Gentoo and Exherbo, and I prefer Gentoo. I like the fact that I can build my system from source, and I find that Gentoo is more stable and reliable than Exherbo.

  3. Gentoo is too hard to use. I tried to install it once, and I gave up after a few hours. Exherbo is much easier to use, and it’s just as fast as Gentoo.

  4. I disagree with the article’s claim that Gentoo is more customizable than Exherbo. I think that Exherbo is just as customizable, and it’s easier to use.

  5. I don’t understand why anyone would want to use Gentoo or Exherbo. They’re both so difficult to use. I’ll stick with Ubuntu.

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